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Roger, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 30899
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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I paid for my ex-wifes gas to bring our three children to see

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I paid for my ex-wifes gas to bring our three children to see me in philidelphia and also provided her a hotel room to stay in while I had the children. However, she did not meet me there or bring our children there. The last custody agreement stated that she had to pay 1/2 for every trip that I had to take because she took our kids to another state on her own w/o having the original custody regulation. So she took the money for gas and then did not bring the kids up like we had agreed on. What can I do?

Roger : Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Family Law litigation attorney. Thanks for your question. I'll be glad to assist.


Roger : Does the custody agreement state that she must bring the children to you?

are you there?


meet 1/2 way.

Roger : Ok. So, she was supposed to meet you halfway, and you paid her to meet and she didn't, correct?

I want to fight again to get my kids back, but I just think I will lose again. I feel like the legal system is making it so hard to raise my kids, and leaving them vulnerable to life



Roger : Ok, thanks. I just want to make sure I understand what the order says as it appears that she's in violation of the order based on what you've said.

correct, but she was in violation the first decree also when she took the kids out of state.

Roger : In that case, the best thing you can do is file a motion for contempt with the court and ask the judge to hold her in contempt.
Roger : If the judge finds that she is in contempt, he/she can order her to comply and also fine or even jail her for violating the order.
Roger : Also, if you want to seek to modify the custody order/seek primary custody, you would need to have a material change in circumstances to warrant a change.

what is a material change?

Roger : The fact that she took the children and moved out of state should certainly be a material change in circumstances.
Roger : A material change is anything that affects the children or parents, or any change that affects visitation or custody.
Roger : This could be a move, a remarriage, a new job that makes it difficult for a parent to keep up the current custody order, physical abuse by a parent, alcohol/substance abuse, etc.

So, If I wanted to get her back into the state the divorce was finalized in, what should I do? The second time it didn't work for me, because she got to stay in North Carolina. I want to be able to be part of my childrens lives.


It seems like the legal system is supporting a isolation of the father figure from the child (btw, no abuse or any issues on either side)

Roger : The same court the divorce was handled in should maintain jurisdiction as long as you're a resident of that state/county (since she's gone - you would still need to be there).
Roger : You would have to file a motion with that court and have her served and notified to appear.

this is the same circle that I tried when she left the first time. why do the courts seem to favor in the mothers case? Any other tips to get it swayed in my favor?

Roger : It's not supposed to be that way, but you're right that most cases seem to favor the mother for some reason - - maybe it's the historicla concept that mothers take care of children and the fatherr works....

So, I reviewed the documents and they state she only has to meet me for the holidays. With that being said, are there any violations since I gave her the gas money to visit and she did not show?

Roger : It's all going to boil down to what the order says.
Roger : If the agreement you made is outside of what the order mandates, then it would not be a violation of the current order - - meaning no contempt.
Roger : HOWEVER, you could still file a motion to modify custody/visitation and tell the judge that you want a change because of things like this occurring.
Roger : The judge could order her to repay you the money you gave her as part of a request to modify custody/visitation, but she would not be in contempt unless she's in violation of a specific term or provision of the order.

Ahhh-- that sounds like a start. Do you think I could ask her to pay for the legal costs for the motion and court fees?

Roger : You can ask the court to award you fees and expenses, but there's no right to this - - it would be up to the judge.

would that help to document for future modifications?

Roger : Sure. There's nothing wrong with asking for this, but it's just not guaranteed that you will be awarded your costs/fees.

yeah more concerned with documenting the behavior and establishing a pattern


thanks, XXXXX XXXXX been a good help. I know where to start now.

Roger : Understood.
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